COWBOY builder Tom McFeely was also a tax cheat who had to pay €10m to the Criminal Assets Bureau, it emerged today.
He failed to pay taxes at the height of the Celtic Tiger on his property income and became a major target of the bureau.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein today tried to distance themselves from the rogue millionaire SF supporter who has caused so much misery.
The CAB first targeted McFeely over suspicions that he was involved in so-called C2 VAT fraud. The scam used C2 tax certificates to obtain tax back on non-existent construction work.
When CAB began investigating McFeely, it was discovered that he had never made a personal tax return and that his companies' tax returns were heavily in arrears.
McFeely -- who lives in a mansion on exclusive Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4 that was once valued at €15m -- is a former member of the IRA and was an H-Block hunger strikers.
Originally from Dungiven, Co Derry, McFeely served 12 years of a 26-year term for shooting an RUC officer.
At his sentencing, he threatened the judge, saying: "I may serve the term, but you will not."
The IRA man then joined the first hunger strike at Long Kesh, spending 53 days on the protest in 1980. He was taken off the strike when Bobby Sands called off the action.
McFeely was released from prison by Northern Ireland's Court of Criminal Appeal in 1987, which ruled that his consecutive 12 and 14-year sentences were excessive.
His Long Kesh incarceration -- from 1977 -- was the second time McFeely had been jailed. He was one of 19 IRA men who escaped from Portlaoise Prison in 1974 when a terrorist exploded a bomb inside the compound, blowing out a wall.
After relocating to Dublin in the 1990s, he reinvented himself as a property dealer and builder, making a fortune through land deals and construction work.
In an interview in July, 2009, McFeely spoke about his battle with CAB and explained that he bought a Bentley car to "sicken" the agency.
McFeely explained that the luxury car cost him "€279,000 and I've put only 12,000 miles on it in four years".
"I just bought it to sicken CAB. I'd to give them €9m in unpaid taxes. When I wrote the last cheque, I went out and bought the Bentley. I was saying, 'f**k you!'"
He went to claim that most CAB officials and gardai were "decent people only doing their jobs, but a minority are nasty individuals with an agenda."
NAMA was in a crisis meeting with the City Council today in an effort to find properties for displaced Priory Hall residents.
Devastated families woke up in a hotel again today with the fear that they would not be allowed return to their homes for Christmas.
The under fire developer was lying low after families spent a second night in the Regency Hotel in Whitehall.
They feel "bitterly let down and betrayed" by Dublin City Council and the government.
Many residents have rejected the offer of hotel accommodation, and some have vowed to stay in the apartment complex despite the safety risks -- claiming that the hotel arrangements are unsuitable.
The arrangements have resulted in children missing school and employees suffering losses of earnings.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has today rounded on McFeely -- lashing out at his "chequered past".
"This wouldn't have arisen if Mr McFeely had done his job properly. I'm sure you are aware of his chequered history," he said. "People are greatly discommoded, and have been greatly upset by the findings there were no fire walls between the apartments which were purchased in good faith as their homes.
"Thanks be to God that no fire erupted in Priory Hall and no lives have been lost."